The Blind Barber: 3 Easy Ways to Look Fresh in the New Year

This article was originally written on Edit Express

As part of our new grooming series, we’re talking with some of the best barbers in the business to bring you the tips and tricks to staying handsome, from the boardroom to the bedroom.

Looking sharp isn’t rocket science, but it is something that needs a little attention. For our first installment we caught up with master barber Julien over at the Blind Barber in New York about the best ways to start your manscaping adventures. From scoring the perfect cut to the must-have tools for keeping that mane looking tip-top, ensuring your New Year gets off to a fresh start.

When considering a grooming regiment, what should guys do to affect the health of their hair and skin? 

Men are usually simple creatures. We tend to not over do anything and stick to keeping it simple. Sometimes that leads us to forget some key things. One big thing that I’ve seen many men do is leave product in their hair at night. Some think it’ll be one less step they have to do in the morning when they’re getting ready,  but they’re not doing themselves any favors. Product you leave in your hair at night gets on your pillow. When you lay your face on your pillow it picks it up leading to clogged pores, pimples, or overall bad skin. You should always rinse your hair out at night to remove any product, even if you aren’t shampooing daily.  Clean hair = healthy hair = beautiful face.


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When deciding on a new cut for the new year, what are a few things to keep in mind when talking to your barber?

A picture speaks a thousand words. Showing your barber a few photos of something you’d like can help remove a lot of the “guess work”. Pictures give the barber a better understanding of which direction you’re leaning for your hair. But, remember that some hair types appear different in person than they do in a photograph. It’s best to start with a clipper size that leaves your hair a little longer. You can always go shorter, but you can’t magically grow hair mid cut. Most of the popular haircuts you see nowadays have some variation of a fade. So you can say you want a high, medium, or low fade depending on the look and style you’re shooting for. Your barber will know the difference. Tapering your hair is always a go to. “Squaring off” or “rounding out” the neckline will give your hair an unnatural look when it’s growing back out. Asking for a taper is a classic move that will ensure that every cut you get, will leave you looking fresher longer.

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Blind Barbershop in Lower East Side, NY

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What are a few products or tools every guy should own that will keep him looking fresh?

Every man should have some sort of styling product. From a pomade, to a wax or cream, a leave in conditioner, mousse – you name it. We all have bad hair days and every man can appreciate a helping hand in holding over until the next cut. If you don’t already own one, you can borrow a hair dryer from a friend or main squeeze. Blow dry your hair in the desired direction until the style you want is achieved. Hair dryers are life savers especially for those tricky cowlicks. Water based products are best for your hair. They do not damage it by drying it out or causing flakiness. Plus, they wash out easily. These water based products are best to use after the shower when your hair is towel dry. They go in evenly and won’t have you looking like Cameron Diaz in that one movie… Blind Barber’s 90 Proof is perfect if you’re looking for a matte finish with a stronger hold. It’s ideal for men that desire a natural look that lasts all day. For a little more shine, Blind Barber’s 60 Proof has an amazing finish with enough hold to define and enhance your look. Great for bringing out texture and reducing frizz.

Photo: Aaron Austin

 


Hilarious Video on Origins of "Black Twitter" In the Barbershop [WATCH]

Watch as Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. discusses how the African-American community uses Twitter to discuss social issues and finds out why that communication is unique to black culture in this hilarious new segment.

Shout out to the set direction in picking a barbershop and recognizing it as a cultural landmark. Whether you're black, white, yellow, this video is a must watch!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcSh2F8e__8


The Power of Exfoliation

We hear this word time and time again. Whether at your girl's house, stepping into Kiehl's, or browsing the net. But facial scrub aka exfoliating isn't just a buzz word to sell products. It actually works and is one of the most critical processes for a better skincare routine.

According to Shear & Shine, "exfoliating sheds hundreds of dead cells on a daily basis, this can clog up pores and lead to bumps/pimples. By exfoliating regularly you clear your skin of any debris, including product build up and allow the new layer of fresh skin to be exposed. If you shave often then you definitely need to exfoliate as this will help to reduce the risk of ingrown hair/razor bumps."

As a barber, I got onto facial scrubs a couple years back and have been implementing that into my schedule. Think of exfoliating as setting up that Jordan / Curry jump shot. Your foot placement determines your level of elevation thus aiming for nothing but net. So whether you deal with super oily or flaky skin (like me), discoloration, wrinkles, or those horrid razor bumps, make sure to slip a facial scrub into shopping cart. As tempting it may be to simply slab a moisturizer on, the exfoliating scrub is the prerequisite that may be just what you need.

 By scrubbing off dead skin, you not only unclog pores and brighten the complexion, you are also exposing hair follicles, allowing for a closer shave and eliminating ingrown hairs." - Alex Grogan, Co-founder of ManCave

Power moves of exfoliators: 

  • Removes dirt / grime
  • Ingrown hair / razor bump reducer (apply beforehand)
  • Dry-flakey skin solution
  • Regenerates skin coloration

 

Best times to use: 

  • After a workout
  • Before you start your workday
  • In the shower
  • Early morning / before date night

 

Below I've listed some personal recommendations that cut right into what you're looking for. A handful of available of this options are made available at Birchbox Man.

 

Groom Guy Tip: I usually use my facial scrub while I'm showering. The steam from the shower opens up my pores and perfect launchpad to using the scrub effectively.

Exfoliating be like...

 

 

 


R.I.P. Dreadlocks + Major Key (Products) for "The Big Chop"

Many have flooded my phone (including Mom) asking the main question: Why in the hell did you cut your locs? 

I've  been a proud loc head for 6 years going thru life experiences that have forever left imprints on me. From cultural enlightenment moments to becoming an official hair connoisseur aka barber has gotten me to this point. But as I venture deeper in this industry called "men's grooming," I've learned certain limitations slow us down. Like visual artists or music producers, our hair is an open canvas into shaping the refined gentleman. Dreadlocks have taught me significant things about character and other helpful values (patience). But in order for me to truly understand hair at its finest and treat some of my prospective clients with solutions, I wanted to be apart of the learning experience and expand my product knowledge. My big chop has taught me an important lesson:

Every man, at some point in his life, has to be willing to accept the challenge of his own evolution. By doing so, he embraces the open doors of opportunity that can immediately begin to flow his way.  - Sunny, Groom Guy

Let the chop be a reminder of our value system here at GroomGuy.com in knowing that change is in the palm of your hand. You are the master of your own destiny and don't allow outside forces to influence your decisions that require YOUR attention. Manhood has a variation of stages and I'm excited to see what lies in store for my next step in life.

In an effort to continue to inspire other big chop prospects, I want to make sure ya'll have the proper arsenal of products that can lead to an easy, smooth transition into natural regrowth of hair. Below I've listed some personal recommendation of products that can instantaneously get regrowth back into a healthy formation for spring & upcoming heat weather.

Frederick Benjamin Haircare Collection 

I was able to recently get a full dosage of the New York-based product line and immediately soaked in the suds of Frederick Benjamin. The 3-combo hair collection is a great base to cleanse your hair. The signature chemical agent of spearmint penetrates the scalp allowing that easy tingling sensation that ensures cleanliness. The minty scent is not overbearing either. Conditioner remains a critical procedure in hair cleansing due to its specific job of combating dryness, split ends, and dandruff build up. According to Frederick Benjamin Journal, "hair cells are almost like fish scales, and conditioners not only smooth over the surface of them but they work done to the root to infuse moisture at the source of hair growth and close the hair cuticle."

Get your hands on FREE.99 sample conditioner here.

J Carter Men Curl Activation

After the full cleansing, I came to realization that I have to start reactivating the curl texture pattern. J Carter is the new solution for achieving those curls and adding the natural oils back into the scalp and hair strands. Since I have softer hair, I jump immediately to the Drench & Curl Krush for that daily dosage. Its a lightweight consistency that doesn't leave my hair drenched in cream or oils. Thats a turn off for me!

 

Curl Sponge

It's no fluke. The curl sponge actually does wonders. Be sure to apply some scrub action for up to two minutes for full coiled curls. The key to a success curl is maintain the curl direction. So if you curl your hair to left stick to that rotation & vice versa. Be sure not to spend more then $10.00 for this bad boy.

Groom Guy Tip: Grab some household scissors for a little touch if needed.  You may catch some hair strands that refuse to fit into the head shape so we know they have to go.